Tips for the Home Handyman - Home Maintenance is up to You

Household Tip: DIY Repairs are Easier Than You Think

Simple tools for the family handyman's work.
Simple tools for the family handyman's work.

Nice to Have a Handyman Service, But Do What You Can Before You Call

It sure is nice to have a home repairman in the house, but sometimes he’s not available or, there just isn’t one. I listed the things that I learned over time that have come in handy a time or two. I wish I could take credit for thinking them up, but I cannot. I learned them all from different people along the way, like many things in life. I hope you find them handy, too.

Keep nails, screws, circular saw blades, anything that doesn’t have it’s own container goes in something like a small jar or cookie tin. Nail the lid to the underside of your garage cabinets so you simply screw the jar up to it and it’s out of the way because it now hangs from the cupboard bottom.

When the rungs of a wood chair have come loose, wrap masking tape around the end so it makes the end thicker, and then apply glue before reinserting it.

When you’re painting on a ladder, use a length of old broom handle, or a dowel 1 inch in diameter. Slide the dowel in the holes of the legs in the ladder and leave the end sticking out. Hang the paint can on the end sticking out. It hangs at your level. Raise it up as you go.

Need some tarp weights? Easily made when you have a day before you need them. Take four butter tubs or plastic cups and fill them with cement or plaster of some kind. Stick a wire in the middle so that it sticks up. Allow it to dry completely and then use the wire to bend around the hole in the corner of the tarp. Wah-lah!

More Helpful Household Hints and Tips; Move Mountains Yourself

When you need to move a pile of dirt, bricks or anything you can’t carry in one trip, use the child’s wagon or sled to help you move the things.

Computer cords, musician equipment cords, all kinds of cords can get tangled and make it look a mess. Make little bungee cords with large rubber bands and large washers. String the rubber band through the washer, and then string one end of the rubber band through the other end, and pull it tight. Now, wrap it around whatever you’re organizing and hook the washer in the other end of the rubber band.

One of the best household tips and tricks: Next time you need to replace several small parts, simply set them on your scanner and effectively take a picture of them. Take that with you to the hardware store and you have the size and looks to go by when getting the replacements.

It’s really annoying when the trash bag slips down inside the kitchen garbage can. Get one with a lid and cut the center out of the lid, leaving just the edges. Put the new bag in the trash receptacle and place the modified lid on, and it holds the new bag in place.

Sleeping bag doesn’t keep you warm enough? Get a flannel sheet and fold it in half lengthwise. Sew one end together and about two feet up the long edge. Slip it inside your sleeping bag for a warm lining.

A good way to sharpen razor blades is to rub them on the striker of a pack of matches.

More Useful Household Tips

If you need to nail really small nails but can’t do it without hammering your fingers, try holding the nail in place with a teeth of a regular comb. It works amazingly.

If you dampen the backside (paper side) of sand paper, it stays on the block better and even works better.

Sticky drawers? Make them glide easily by rubbing candle wax or soap on the sliders.

Remember, it’s righty-tighty and lefty-loosey.

Rub soap or wax on the threads of screws to make them screw in easier.

If a screw becomes loose in it’s wood hole, simply take it out and put a paper match (without the head) in the hole and replace the screw. If it’s really really loose, use a wooden match. It will fit tight again.

If your closets or cabinets are damp, simply place a few charcoal briquettes in a 1 pound coffee can, and cut several small holes in the lid. If you need to keep a larger space dry, just use more of them and put them everywhere it’s needed.

Sweeten Your Closets

Cut off the leg of an old pantyhose and fill the foot with cedar chips. Tie it off at the top and hang it in a close for a sweet cedar smell. It doubles as moth repellant.

If you lose a tiny object, like the back of an earring or a contact lens on a carpet, there’s an alternative to getting on your chin to find it. Take a wire coat hanger or any long thin object and run it across the carpet. All the small stuff jumps up and you can see it better.

If you are often on the water, it makes sense to make sure your keys float if they should be dropped. Drill a hole through a large cork and fasten it to your keychain. They’ll not only float, but they’ll be a lot easier to retrieve.

Need a safe, handy place to keep your fishing license or hunting tags? Empty a ball point pen and roll up your documents and stuff them inside the pen. Then you can clip the pen on a pocket or something so it won’t get lost.

I hope you find at least one of these useful and that you pass it on.

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K Partin profile image

K Partin 7 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

Hey Sandy good tips I'll look for more. Thanks K.

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